The Tesla Model Y compact crossover has finally been introduced – arguably the company’s most important vehicle yet. A quick internet search will turn up similar sentiments written about the Model 3 sedan when the company announced it. But Tesla introduced the Model 3 at a time when consumers were fleeing sedans for crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. The Model Y gives the electric automaker a competitive product in the hot-selling segment. While affordability is still an issue for the masses, Tesla’s introduction has beaten General Motors and Cadillac to the punch for a competitive electric crossover.
However, while Tesla has announced the Model Y will go on sale in the fall of 2020, the company’s reputation for its lack of punctuality could work in Cadillac’s favor as it prepares to launch its electric crossover in 2021.
Earlier this year, General Motors announced Cadillac would spearhead the automaker’s electrification efforts by introducing an all-new electric Cadillac on a new scalable EV architecture by 2021. The new Cadillac is part of GM’s larger plan to launch 20 new EVs by 2023. At least nine individual vehicles will ride on GM’s future EV platform, which will be capable of supporting front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive configurations along with different body styles.
It’s difficult to compare Cadillac’s EV with the Model Y because we know so little about Cadillac’s efforts. Unlike Tesla, Cadillac likely won’t release any information until much closer to its reveal or production beginning. However, Tesla has few issues with announcing new products months or years ahead of time, and the company has divulged plenty of Model Y details.
The long-range, rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model Y will debut first (fall 2020) with a $47,000 price tag with up to 300 miles of electric range. A standard-range Model Y will debut in 2021 with a $39,000 and 230 miles of electric range. A performance version with 280 miles of range and a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds will also be available. All-wheel drive is also available. At first glance, it’s easy to see that the Tesla Model Y shares a lot of the Model 3’s DNA inside and out. The Model Y mimics the profile of the larger Model X without the funky Falcon doors, which should keep quality issues and the price under control.
It goes without saying that the Model Y is crucial to Tesla’s success moving forward. The automaker will want to share as many parts with the Model 3 as possible to keep costs under control, which is something Tesla promised with the Model X sharing components with the Model S; however, that didn’t happen as planned. With crossovers being wildly more popular than sedans, Tesla may not be able to sell a Model Y suffering from the quality issues that plagued the Model 3.
Tesla will also face some stiff competition in the segment, too, which will only get more crowded in the next few years. Kia has the Niro EV and Soul EV coming. The Niro, for example, is estimated to start a few thousand dollars below the Tesla Model Y standard-range model while offering about 10 more miles of electric range. The Soul EV will start at around $33,000 but will have just 111 miles of range. Porsche will begin building an electric crossover in 2020, as well. General Motors is preparing its electric Cadillac, too, which the company will benchmark against Tesla. Any delay of the Model Y could put it far behind the competition.